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Andrew Harris to coach Vancouver Island Raiders following CFL career

Running back expects to play one more season for Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts running back Andrew Harris says he'll play his final CFL season this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Heywood Yu

Andrew Harris will be a busy man on and off the field.

The 35-year-old running-back has ­reportedly signed to play one more season with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian ­Football League ahead of becoming head coach of the Vancouver Island Raiders of the B.C. Football Conference in 2024. Harris will also ­immediately assume the role of head of ­football operations for the Raiders.

Harris had a legendary career with the Nanaimo-based team, leading the Raiders to Canadian junior championships in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and re-writing the Canadian junior record book for rushing yards. He went onto have, arguably, an even more iconic pro career in the CFL with four Grey Cup championships, including last season with the Argos, to go with the championships he won with his hometown Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2021 and 2019, and his first Grey Cup in 2011 with the B.C. Lions. Harris was named Grey Cup game MVP in 2019 and Grey Cup game best Canadian player in 2011 and 2019. He was also named CFL top Canadian player in 2017.

“My five years in Nanaimo as young player were pivotal for my training and football career,” Harris said in a statement.

“I want to take this passion that I have for the sport and build something great for these young up-and-coming players, and of course, win some championships.”

The Raiders, far removed from their glory years, missed the BCFC playoffs last season.

“Andrew has been a proven winner throughout his career and it is anticipated he will continue to be so in his new role,” Raiders president Kabel Atwall said in a statement.

“Andrew will be a great ambassador for the team, he will have a great rapport with players, coaches, recruits and our treasured fans.”

Harris will take over immediate control of all aspects of football operations for the Raiders. An interim head coach will be announced for this season before Harris takes over that position as well in 2024 following his retirement from the CFL.

— With files from Canadian Press